by Bill Simon
I’ve been doing lots of thinking lately. I mean a LOT of thinking. I’ve been engaging in a lot of thinking lately because I haven’t spent my time watching ANY of the presidential debates. None. I consider the debates to be nothing but a circus sideshow designed to lure me away from working on something productive for me and my life, and so far, I don’t believe I’m missing anything of any substance.
What have I been doing instead? Listening to books-on-CDs. Not fictional crap. Not political history crap. Not biographies of presidential candidates crap.
No, I’ve been listening to books that feed my mind business and life philosophies. You’d be amazed at what you can learn when you step-out of the political mishmash (of, again, crap) and take-on the challenges of listening to the ideas and philosophies of non-political people.
One such book I just finished listening to for the first time was the 1938 book by Napoleon Hill called “Think And Grow Rich.”
It is not a book that will show you how to “get rich quick.” It is a book chock-full of lessons in morality, lessons in business, and, especially, lessons in how to control your own mind.
The book should have been more aptly titled “How to Control Your Mind So That It Helps You Get Rich”, whether that “richness” is richness in life, richness in monetary wealth, or richness in whatever goal you would like to achieve.
It’s a challenging book to read, and a pretty challenging book to even listen to, not because it’s boring, but because as each new idea and viewpoint is revealed, I found my mind spinning-off into a thought process relating to what I just heard and then I had to reel my mind back-in to focus on the next nugget. (If you buy it on CD, I advise using a remote-controlled CD player to work through it because some parts you want to stop-rewind-play to listen to over and over again due to how poignant the subject matter is.)
(By the way, lest I leave you bereft with the benefit of being able to acquire the “book” version, the copyright protection for Think And Grow Rich expired sometime in the past few years, and I found a PDF version on the Web which you can have access to by clicking and saving it on your computer here.)
There were several amazing things I derived from my first “listen” to the audio version. Several things that apply to our current economic and political times.
The book was published just after the Great Depression ended. Lots of the conversation is all about what led up to it, what happened during it, and what people were faced with during the time of the Great Depression.
The parallel in the times it covered compared to today’s times is uncanny with what people were screaming about back then, and what they’re screaming about today.
Here’s one excerpt that I laughed my butt off at because it’s so fitting to today’s political environment:
(Page 121): “Just to keep the record simple and understandable, I will add that these capitalists are the self-same men of whom most of us have heard soap-box orators speak. They are the same men to whom radicals, racketeers, dishonest politicians and grafting labor leaders refer as “the predatory interests,” or “Wall Street.”
See anything familiar in that excerpt? “Grafting labor leaders” of the 1920s are today’s union bosses. “Dishonest politicians” of the 1920s are, well, like they’ve always been in EVERY country on the planet: Dishonest low-lifes.
“Predatory interests” and “Wall Street” of the 1920s are what the ignorant “Occupiers/Newt Gingrich Supporters” of today scream and whine about with regards to “Wall Street” and “venture capitalists.”
If you can pull yourself away from the political debate circus for long enough to immerse yourself in “Think And Grow Rich,” your mind will be a lot better for it and you will find yourself thinking a whole lot better about yourself and the world around you. (Of course…you actually have to have a mind in order to do this. Some of you folks have allowed your brain to become nothing but a reflection of what happens in the political world and your cortex has melted away.)
And, now…the feature presentation…
I’m going to borrow the definition of “crony capitalism” from the Website Investopedia: “A description of capitalist society as being based on the close relationships between businessmen and the state. Instead of success being determined by a free market and the rule of law, the success of a business is dependent on the favoritism that is shown to it by the ruling government in the form of tax breaks, government grants and other incentives.”
If I could put an addendum on this definition as well: “Crony capitalism is the acquisition of business deals through your connections and insider knowledge of how government works.”
Who would be a good example of a “crony capitalist” right here in Georgia? Governor Nathan Deal , of course. Deal’s auto salvage yard deal with the State of Georgia, his use of taxpayer dollars from his Congressional office to “hire” the use of airplanes owned by his Chief–of-Staff’s wife, and a whole bunch of other “deals” we likely don’t know about.
Newt Gingrich is a crony capitalist. Accomplishing the deal to suck $1.6 million in personal consulting fees from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is ALL about being an insider and engineering his own inside deal with government and/or semi-government organizations. His other work in and around Washington D.C. for the last 10 some-odd years since he resigned from Congress is ALL about lobbying and influence peddling his connections and his hefty political weight.
His entire fortune is based only on his insider knowledge of government cronyism to pass money into his pocket. How much money is he getting in retirement benefits from his time in Congress? Anyone know? That’s a fixed-cost entitlement he and his pals (like, Nathan Deal, Phil Gingrey, etc.) in Congress are sucking every day, every moment of every day, from our taxpayer largess.
How fitting that Nathan Deal is a supporter of Newt Gingrich. Crony capitalists always stick together because how else can they get their unfair share from the public trough?
Underlying the concept of free-market capitalism is the concept of the “invisible hand.” This invisible hand concept was developed by Adam Smith to describe the self-regulating nature of a “free-market.”
And, the concept proposes a theory that individuals who have the ambition to provide a useful good or service to the marketplace of willing consumers will translate to “doing good for society” just by the mere act of what they are trying to accomplish on their own initiative and for their own reasons.
In Think And Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill relates the story of how Coca-Cola got started. For an investment of $500 by Pharmacist Asa Candler, who bought a large kettle, a wooden paddle to stir, and a formula, Candler used his own mind to start a company that created more jobs and more wealth for more people than ANY government idea has EVER created for ANY society.
Yeah, I know. Coca-Cola is just some carbonated water, some sugar, some ingenuity, some labor, and some damn good marketing ideas that voluntarily offer a product to a marketplace full of willing consumers who voluntarily buy the substance to drink. Yeah, that’s “all” it is.
But, it was only through the freedom of this country and the concept of “free-market capitalism” that that company could have ever been formed and accomplished all it has done for millions of workers, executives, bottler owners, farmers of sugar, sugar brokers, delivery truck drivers, etc.
Hill talks a little bit about our freedoms in this country in a way that I cannot begin to reduce any because it was just so flawlessly written in 1938 that it is best for you to read his words to grasp exactly what America is truly “all about.”:
(Page 117): “To begin with, let us remember, all of us, that we live in a country where every law-abiding citizen enjoys freedom of thought and freedom of deed unequaled anywhere in the world. Most of us have never taken inventory of the advantages of this freedom. We have never compared our unlimited freedom with the curtailed freedom in other countries. Here we have freedom of thought, freedom in the choice and enjoyment of education, freedom in religion, freedom in politics, freedom in the choice of a business, profession or occupation, freedom to accumulate and own without molestation, ALL THE PROPERTY WE CAN ACCUMULATE, freedom to choose our place of residence, freedom in marriage, freedom through equal opportunity to all races, freedom of travel from one state to another, freedom in our choice of foods, and freedom to AIM FOR ANY STATION IN LIFE FOR WHICH WE HAVE PREPARED OURSELVES, even for the presidency of the United States.”
THEN, Hill proceeds to discuss the driving force that produces and supports all these freedoms:
(Page 119) “We often hear politicians proclaiming the freedom of America, when they solicit votes, but seldom do they take the time or devote suf?cient effort to the analysis of the source or nature of this “freedom.” Having no axe to grind, no grudge to express, no ulterior motives to be carried out, I have the privilege of going into a frank analysis of that mysterious, abstract, greatly misunderstood “SOMETHING” which gives to every citizen of America more blessings, more opportunities to accumulate wealth, more freedom of every nature, than may be found in any other country. I have the right to analyze the source and nature of this UNSEEN POWER, because I know, and have known for more than a quarter of a century, many of the men who organized that power, and many who are now responsible for its maintenance. The name of this mysterious benefactor of mankind is CAPITAL!
CAPITAL consists not alone of money, but more particularly of highly organized, intelligent groups of men who plan ways and means of using money ef?ciently for the good of the public, and pro?tably to themselves. These groups consist of scientists, educators, chemists, inventors, business analysts, publicity men, transportation experts, accountants, lawyers, doctors, and both men and women who have highly specialized knowledge in all ?elds of industry and business.
They pioneer, experiment, and blaze trails in new ?elds of endeavor. They support colleges, hospitals, public schools, build good roads, publish newspapers, pay most of the cost of government, and take care of the multitudinous detail essential to human progress. Stated brie?y, the capitalists are the brains of civilization, because they supply the entire fabric of which all education, enlightenment and human progress consists.”
Note that at the time of the Great Depression, there was not the concept of “crony capitalism” which is so prevalent today. Back then it was “free-market capitalism” that allowed men and women (though Hill only refers to everything in the male gender in his book, the concepts were the same for both men and women who start a business) to think-up an idea, start a business, and build it on their own with their own private capital.
Crony Capitalism vs. Free Market Capitalism
Anyone know what Newt Gingrich was doing at the exact moment in time that Mitt Romney was engaging in free-market capitalism? Anyone know at all?
I do. I do because I thought it might be kinda relevant since Newtie-poo has decided to attack Mitt Romney for companies that failed in a free-market environment while Newtie-poo basically…(this is the cleanest I can verbalize this) masturbated himself off over taxpayer dollars (and, yes, ruined them).
At the time Mitt Romney was doing his thing at Bain, Newtie-poo was bouncing 22 checks in the House bank…in other words, kiting checks/writing bad checks/STEALING money that he didn’t yet acquire by legal means.
What happens if Joe-Citizen writes a bad check? If the bank wanted to prosecute him, they could turn him over to the local DA/Solicitor for prosecution.
Not so then-Congressman Newt Gingrich. He could steal as much money as he wanted to because, hey, he was a Congressman (everyone who thinks that is such an awesome position to hold should drop to their knees and offer yourself to Newtie-poo because he’s looking for more devotees to his current cause) and exempt from following such laws as you and I are required to follow.
So, Mitt Romney engaged in free-market capitalism and some companies did well and some companies didn’t. That’s the gift and that’s the bane of free-market economics. In a free-market economy, success happens and failure happens, and life goes on to those equipped with the skills to build a life again. No government can guarantee someone won’t fail at something. That’s absurd to anyone but a Progressive (and/or Newt Gingrich).
The alternative is SOCIALISM, where people are limited in what success they can have because the government implements tax-anchors if you try to be “too” successful (and, a bunch of crooked politicians who do not care about free-market capitalism because they’re too happy practicing crony capitalism will be the ones responsible for determining what “too successful” means).
Which, apparently, is exactly what Newt Gingrich would rather have…and…actually does have via his addiction to “crony capitalism.”
Those of you who are looking to government to “create jobs” are idiots. You have no concept, no awareness, no feeling for the blessings this country has given you to be able to create your own jobs with your own ideas and your own ingenuity and your own hard work.
You’d rather cede your taxpayer dollars over to the government to “create” jobs for you. Governments aren’t formed to “create jobs.” That is so asinine a concept I cannot believe I have to inform a bunch of Republicans of this fact.
Newt Gingrich is a perpetual promise-breaker. He is a fraudulent “conservative.” I know he and his cronies have no idea of the concept of “free-market economics” if he just points at Mitt Romney and blames him for some companies that failed that were already on their way to failure before Romney stepped-in. They would have failed with or without Romney’s involvement.
The fact is this: Before Newt and his Super-PAC’s attacks on Romney, I was indifferent to Romney. Truly.
Now, with me seeing Newt’s desperate whining, Occupier-like, Progressive-driven attacks on Romney, my choices for a Republican nominee have been made a whole lot clearer.
I’m voting strictly with my wallet. I don’t give a crap about someone’s religion as long as it is not intent on killing me. This country was founded on the concept of freedom of religion, but moronic people like State Rep. Judy Manning (a Newt supporter, no less) apparently believe that concept doesn’t really exist.
Manning and her ilk should take a dive off the Ga-Pacific building and contribute their bodies to the Atlanta street landscape. (THAT’LL create a street-cleaning crew job, and do more for the economy than Manning proposing any more idiotic crony-capitalism tainted laws.)
There are only TWO Republican candidates that have any concept of what free-market economics is all about, how much better it is than socialism, and two that are the only defense we truly have to stop the Progressive agenda of the Obama Administration: Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.
I have not made my decision beyond those two…and, since our Presidential Preference Primary isn’t until sometime in March, I don’t have to come to any decision any time soon.
What you folks who worship at the feet of Newt Gingrich should REALLY be considering is this: If there was a Democrat on the ballot who was a serial adulterer and a guy that sits with Nancy Pelosi yapping about “carbon credits”, would you be all “Ohhhhh…you’re so wonderful! I wish I could have your baby!” ???
No, you’d be aghast and rabidly against a serial adulterer as much as you were against Bill Clinton. You do not have your minds working right if you support Gingrich.
In Think And Grow Rich, Hill discusses an interesting concept regarding getting a message through to your subconscious via repetitive messaging:
(Page 41): “When men first come into contact with crime, they abhor it. If they remain in contact with crime for a time, they become accustomed to it, and endure it. If they remain in contact with it long enough, they finally embrace it, and become influenced by it.”
Relating to that theory of how some people become criminals is a concept I’ve read from several sources called the Law of Association that basically states “You become whom you associate with.”
Which, essentially means that If you associate with good, character-based people, you will become good/better. If you associate with crappy people, you will become…just as crappy as they are.
The concept of me voting for a crappy example of a human being like Newt Gingrich causes my brain to scream out NO ———- WAY!
And, I won’t…and I’m gonna bet that, mindset-wise, there will be lots of other Republicans just like me who will skip voting on the Presidential election in November if Newt’s name appears ANYWHERE on the ballot, be it for President or Vice-President.